December 22, 2022 -- ‘Tis the season of gifting! Thanks to a devoted teacher and a community-wide effort, students at East Linden Elementary School were gifted with school uniforms, hats, scarves, and toys.
“When you wear new clothes, you feel good about yourself,” said Deborah Staples, a kindergarten teacher at the school. “You feel confident and want to come to school.”
The idea for new uniforms stemmed from Staples' passion for making a difference in the lives of her students.
“If you have a passion, you can’t stop it. When it comes to family, people, and how I can make an impact, it’s like a fire inside of me,” she said.
Receiving support from her fellow staff members, word began to spread to the community about the initiative.
“Sponsors kept coming to me and saying ‘I can give you money. I can buy toys’,” Staples said.
Before she knew it, funds and donations started pouring in.
Capital One Financial Corporation donated over $1,000 to the school uniform initiative. Students were also gifted gourmet treats from Cheryl’s Cookies, a local favorite, courtesy of the corporation.
“We wanted to give back to the community,” said Notasha Robinson, cafe coach for the Capital One Cafe located in Easton Towne Center.
In addition to Capital One, the Eta Nu Nu Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., made a sizable donation as well.
“I feel the love and support not just for me, but for the children and the parents,” said Staples.
Each student attending East Linden Elementary School left for winter break with a new school uniform, a pair of socks, a hat, a scarf, and a new toy donated by Building Control Integrators.
“It takes a village. We are more than just teachers; we’re caregivers,” said Staples. “We’re going to make a difference in your children’s lives.”